The Cleveland Browns have experienced quite the roller coaster of a season.
Entering the campaign with high hopes and Deshaun Watson under center, the Browns started slowly following the QB’s struggles and Nick Chubb’s devastating season-ending knee injury.
As the season progressed and the Browns struggled to find a suitable backup passer with P.J. Walker and rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, they turned to an elite quarterback who just so happened to be available in Joe Flacco.
While it’s important to note Flacco hasn’t been very good. He has been a lot better than what the Browns were operating with. That enables the Browns’ suffocating defense to flourish as Flacco does just enough to keep Cleveland afloat.
But is that enough to make the playoffs in the AFC? Let’s dig in.
Cleveland Browns current odds
The Browns will have a decent chance to run the table in the season's final month. The Bears are playing better, but, at home, the Browns' defense could shut down Fields, and, in a Flacco Revenge Game, he could do just enough to eke out a win. The Texans will be the toughest matchup, depending on Stroud’s health while the Week 17 matchup with the Jets could be a low-scoring contest, making the outcome harder to determine.
It’s probably safe to assume that the Browns will at least go 2-2 to finish the year.
Final record prediction: 11-6
Current AFC playoff standings
- Baltimore Ravens 10-3
- Miami Dolphins 9-4
- Kansas City Chiefs 8-5
- Jacksonville Jaguars 8-5
- Cleveland Browns 8-5
- Pittsburgh Steelers 7-6
- Indianapolis Colts 7-6
- Houston Texans 7-6
- Denver Broncos 7-6
- Cincinnati Bengals 7-6
- Buffalo Bills 7-6
With over an 80+% chance to make the playoffs, according to the #analytics, the Browns WILL make the playoffs this year.
We predict that Cleveland will go 3-1 down the stretch, with their only loss to the Texans in Week 16, to lock down the sixth seed in the AFC. Even if the Browns lose two games in that four-game stretch, they should still be able to lock in a playoff spot.
Get ready, folks. Flacco is most likely going to start an NFL playoff game in the year 2023.